Thursday, April 3, 2014

Where to Live VI - Earthquakes



The Economic Collapse Blog notes a rumble under the chair, and it ain't baked beans:
Why are fault lines and volcanoes all over North and South America suddenly waking up? Are we moving into a time when major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions will become much more common? ... The following are 12 signs that something big is happening to the earth's crust under North and South America...
Whether something big is happening RIGHT FREAKING NOW I don't know, but whether something will happen at some point is not really in doubt.  It will.  Fault lines crack, stuff rumbles, things break. And they tend to break along the fault lines marked in the areas in red.

Worst places:

In the far west, the coastline from San Diego to Anchorage is one big James Bond martini ready to be shaken if not stirred.  The San Andreas Fault is the most famous, but the entire Pacific coast is underlain with fault lines.  Double-check this map against the map of nuclear plants - there's a couple places that could go big bad in a hurry.

Southeast Missouri area: the New Madrid Fault has not let off a big one since the War of 1812. Last time it damaged homes as far away as St. Louis and could be felt over an area three times larger than the 1906 San Francisco quake. It's less active than California's faults, but perhaps makes up for them in intensity.  New Madrid had a little shaking this week. Maybe something will come from it, maybe not.

Hawaii's big island: pineapple shortage dead ahead.

South Carolina, esp. Berkeley and Dorchester Counties right on the coast.  The Palmetto State is not famous for its quakes, perhaps, but its last big one in 1886 is still the largest ever measured east of New Madrid. Richard Côté of the SC Earthquake Awareness Project runs a very good site on the subject.

Best places: 100 miles or so from the bad places.

Earthquakes are one of those threats that are rare but can be catastrophic.  It is unlikely, however, that one is going to come from nowhere in a place without a history of shaking.  So if you must live in an earthquake zone, listen to Huck.  The next big quake is not a matter of if, but of when.

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